THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHING

THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHING

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The Buddha was the first most active missionary in the world.He wandered from place to place for forty five years preaching His doctrine to the masses and the intellegentsia.Till His last moment,He served humaity both by example and by percept.His distinguished disciples followed suit.Penniless,they even travelled to distant lands to propogate the Dhamma,expecting nothing in return. This treatise,written by a member of the Order of the Sangha,is based on the pali Texts,commentaries,and traditions prevailing in Buddhist countries. The first part of the book deals with the Life of the Buddha,the second with the Dhamma,the Pali term for His Doctrine. Life The primary sources of information regarding Siddh rtha Gautama's life are the Buddhist texts. According to these, the Buddha and his monks spent four months each year discussing and rehearsing his teachings, and after his death his monks set about preserving them. A council was held shortly after his death, and another was held a century later. At these councils the monks attempted to establish and authenticate the extant accounts of the life and teachings of the Buddha following systematic rules. They divided the teachings into distinct but overlapping bodies of material, and assigned specific monks to preserve each one.[4] In some cases, essential aspects of teachings attributed to the Buddha were incorporated into stories and chants in an effort to preserve them accurately. From then on, the teachings were transmitted orally. From internal evidence it seems clear that the oldest texts crystallized into their current form by the time of the second council or shortly after it. The scriptures were not written down until three or four hundred years after the Buddha's death. By this point, the monks had added or altered some material themselves, in particular magnifying the figure of the Buddha. The ancient Indians were generally not concerned with chronologies, being more focused on philosophy. The Buddhist texts reflect this tendency, providing a clearer picture of what Shakyamuni may have taught than of the dates of the events in his life. These texts contain descriptions of the culture and daily life of ancient India which can be corroborated from the Jain scriptures, and make the Buddha's time the earliest period in Indian history for which significant accounts exist. According to Michael Carrithers, there are good reasons to doubt the traditional account, though, according to Carrithers, the outline of "birth, maturity, renunciation, search, awakening and liberation, teaching, death" must be true.

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